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How can pain relievers affect your pregnancy?

As any pregnant woman can tell you, carrying a baby for nine months can cause serious pain throughout your body. Your back strains from the added weight, your ankles swell and quite often your whole body just feels sore. While adopting a sedentary lifestyle for the last trimester can sometimes alleviate these ailments, spending three months on a couch simply is not appealing to many women. Instead, doctors prescribe opioid painkillers to help reduce the pain. While this may be effective, a recent study from Vanderbilt University has shown that this method can be highly detrimental to the fetus.

When a woman uses heroin, methamphetamines or other hard drugs during pregnancy, it can cause a literal addiction in the fetus. This causes withdrawal symptoms when the baby is born, a condition called Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. The Vanderbilt study showed that, as more and more women are being prescribed opiates for pain and depression, it is causing a higher rate of NAS.

Mothers-to-be who take these prescribed medications often deliver premature babies after difficult labor. In addition, the infants themselves often have respiratory issues and other problems associated with NAS. For reasons unknown, not all babies who were exposed to opiates developed NAS, but about 65 percent of all babies with the condition were born to mothers taking the medicine.

With this study, birth injury lawsuits are being filed against doctors who prescribed these drugs, such as oxycodone, to pregnant women. Victims of medical malpractice do not have to sit idly by. A qualified attorney can help you claim the compensation you deserve to ease the financial burden from the extended treatments and hospital stays associated with NAS.

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